Friday, June 29, 2012

Peach Silver Mite effect
Friend or Foe?  Frequently a very tiny mite called the Peach Silver Mite will establish itself in an almond orchard.  Their feeding activity causes the leaves to have a silvery appearance.  When I see the discoloration I use my 14X lens to verify their presence.  I also look for the presence of Predatory Mites because their population can increase by feeding on the Silver Mites.  When I see silver mites I immediately think "Predator Food". Sometimes the predators will build up a large enough population to control the very destructive two-spotted and Pacific spider mites (Tetranychus spp.) which can cause defoliation of almond trees.  Very seldom, if ever, is it necessary to treat for Silver Mites.  Determining the need to spray for mites involves regular checking to monitor the population dynamics of the destructive Tetranychus mites, the predator mites, and the more benign Silver Mites.

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